Canadian Musician Shaun Huberts Explains How to Pack Like a Rock Star

Shaun Huberts

Well, hello there! My name is Shaun Huberts and I’m originally from Victoria, BC, Canada but now live in North Vancouver. I’m an avid traveler, most often through touring and playing music all over the world, but also for myself and for the sense of adventure and discovery!

I’m an introvert who loves to use his extroverted energy for short spurts, like performing on stage and connecting with fans of music afterwards, but then spending the better half of the day exploring the cities by myself, in silence. 😛

I’m also a strong advocate for efficiency in your suitcase, or borderline OCD packing as some may say. Oh and I also wrote a book on packing your suitcase called, How To Pack Like A Rock Star. I love order and organization, especially when you’re traveling. I like to say, the less time spend in your suitcase looking for this or that means more time outside in discovery. I also run a website called, How To Pack Like A Rock Star.

Shaun Huberts

How and why did you get into traveling?

I was fortunate enough to travel a few times out of North America when I was young but it wasn’t until I started playing music full time that I really started to fly away with more frequency and further than ever before. There are so many places that wouldn’t have been on the top of my “Must-Travel-To” but I’m so glad I went to and even got paid to, leaving me with a little more money to travel to the other destinations that do top my List!

Since I started playing music and traveling fairly young, I also just got accustomed to not having a regular 9-5 type job, so I’ve given it my best effort to keep it that way and go freelance in every way I can! So far, so good, 17 years and counting.

How to pack like a rock star

How do you prepare for your adventures and travels?

My adventure prep differs from place to place. Most often it was still loosely related to my musical tour that I was going on, then seeing where the tour ends and where I could travel from there to keep my costs down but also do something I’ve always wanted to do (but maybe wouldn’t make the journey out there for that sole reason without tagging it on to the back end of a tour). Quite often this would involve some sort of sporting event, etc. sticking around for Wimbledon at the end of a UK tour, or staying on the Gold Coast to surf after an Australian tour.

How do you finance your travels?

Like I said earlier, the biggest chunk of my expenses are paid for from my work, touring, so my plan of attack is always save as much money as I can and be super cheap during the tour and then use up all my extra per diems (and obviously some saved money too) to fund my tag on adventures!

Why is traveling important for you?

Traveling matters for me for two reasons:

  • I think it’s important to connect with other people around the world, to see how they live, to see where they live, and see what makes them tick and being in their home environment is key to this;
  • The sense of adventure and discovery are an important part of my being and this is a beautiful planet with so many incredible places and people in it, so travel is needed to feed my soul? And hopefully I can feed other peoples souls at the same time? I hope this makes sense, and doesn’t sound as creepy as I fear it’s sounding. 😛

How To Pack - ArcTeryx bag

How do you bring your things with you?

I only ever travel with a carry-on bag. The bag I have used for the last few years is an ArcTeryx Covert CO. It’s the prefect hybrid of a standard contoured carry-on mixed with a pseudo backpack/gym bag type feel. Perfect for the city but also for on the move. It’s all about learning how to pack properly, and then learning how to pack properly for your specific suitcase. I actually wrote a review of this bag, so you can read more and see a little video on it here.

I love the versatility of these bags, as well as the ability to mold it into places a larger more rigid suitcase can’t go. It’s also a top notch company that strives to make quality gear, made to last.

How to pack like a rock star

How do you organize things in your bags?

I’m an organizing freak! I love order in my bag, it makes me happy. I truly believe that in order for a bag to be properly packed, you must be able to see EVERYTHING in your bag from the moment you open your suitcase. So my packing method, (which I call a few different names from the Fold ‘N File, to the Filing Cabinet Method, to the Rock Star Pack…) consists of a simple tweak to your standard folding and packing method. Fold your clothes like you were taught as a kid, but then place into your bag VERTICALLY, instead of horizontally. Now you can see everything, all at once!

To go a touch deeper, think of it this way: I like to refer to it as the Fold ‘N File because you should think of packing like you are filing paperwork in a Doctors office…

open the drawer,

File Vertical,

close drawer.

Same in a suitcase; Open your bag, pack vertically, close suitcase. Basic, right? Now you no longer have to dig deep down to get out your favorite shirt you by accidentally packed at the bottom of your bag.

Again, the less time searching for clothes in your bag, the more time you have to explore! Bonus, the fewer items you are pulling items in and out of your bags, the easier it is to keep them crisp and wrinkle free. Pack them properly and you’ll smile each and every time you open your bag.”

How do your bags and gear hold up?

It’s not so important until it is, meaning it is quite important to have your sanity, I mean clothes, protected from the weather. Not the end of the world, but still worth it in the long run.

My packing style can and does adapt to any bag, but I’m happy with the ones I have.

How to pack like a rock star

Any gear you wish you had brought with you from the beginning?

Earplugs, it’s not technical gear but I think it’s always helpful. Plus, I have a thing where I sometimes love to discover new places without my other senses leading the way before my ears. I have very sensitive hearing and get distracted too often from that so I like to put in earplugs when I leave the airplane or hotel in silence and then take in the sights and scents first before I take them out. Maybe cause I’m a musician I tend to use my ears more often than not first, so this is a fun change up. Maybe I’m just odd though? 🙂

What is your best advice for other travelers?

My only recommendation is packing related; learn a proper packing method and you’ll be happier. You’ll also be able to fit more in your suitcase with a proper pack so if you suffer from always wanting to bring more with you, learn to be more efficient. Oh and PS, “rolling” is rarely a more efficient way of packing, don’t just assume it is, think about it logically. Or have a look at my thoughts on it here and then we can talk 😉

…then learn to travel with lighter and with less. 😛

Shaun Huberts

What will the future bring?

Looking forward to meeting more people from all over the place, that’s all I have planned for the future. That, and educating the world on a better packing method. 😛

Visit Shaun Huberts on his website and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.


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